ICYMI: Canadians divided on Ottawa’s plan to admit more immigrants: poll

Interesting how the housing aspects of immigration are showing up in a number of polls. Leger/ACS bundled housing, social services and healthcare in their prompt. Housing emerged as an unprompted concern in the recent Environics Focus Canada. Leger/ACS also prompts on levels by citing the numbers which likely accounts for greater discomfort with the planned increases.

Unprompted responses are IMO more revealing as it is always easier to respond to an existing question or point rather than filling in a blank:

A new poll suggests the vast majority of Canadians are worried about how the federal Liberal government’s plan to dramatically increase immigration levels over the next few years will affect housing and government services.

The poll, conducted by Leger and the Association of Canadian Studies, also found many respondents hesitant about the use of the notwithstanding clause, which lets legislatures override parts of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for five years.

Based on an online survey of 1,537 Canadians polled between Nov. 11 and 13, the results come about two weeks after Ottawa unveiled plans to admit 500,000 immigrants per year starting in 2025 to address a critical labour shortage across the country.

The government and industry have described the new targets, which represent a significant increase over the 405,000 immigrants admitted last year, as critical for filling about a million job vacancies across the country and to offset Canada’s aging workforce.

Yet 75 per cent of poll respondents agreed that they were very or somewhat concerned that the plan would result in excessive demand for housing as well as health and social services.

That is despite Immigration Minister Sean Fraser having suggested that the new workers could actually enable the construction of more homes by addressing a shortage of tradespeople, along with an increase in federal support and settlement services.

Leger executive vice president Christian Bourque suggested that the poll results reflect the pressures many Canadians are feeling because of a lack of affordable housing and inflation rates driving up prices.

“There’s a heightened sense of concern over stretching our tax dollar and stretching our dollar,” he said.

“In good, positive economic times before the pandemic hit, these numbers might have been different. But now I think there’s a growing concern of how far and how much we can afford.”

The government might need to do a better job explaining the benefits of immigration to average Canadians, Bourque suggested.

Opinions were more divided over the number of immigrants the government plans to admit, with 49 per cent saying it was too many versus 31 per cent who felt it was the right number. Five per cent said it was not enough, while the rest didn’t know.

While opinions were largely the same across different parts of the country, respondents who identified as Conservative, Bloc Quebecois and People’s Party of Canada supporters were more likely to say the target was too high.

“I was not surprised to see a left-right, cleavage on this issue, it’s the same in the United States and the same in Europe,” Bourque said. “Slowly but surely, the issue of immigration levels is becoming political.”

The poll, whose results cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples, also asked Canadians about their views on the notwithstanding clause.

The question followed the Ontario government’s decision to include the notwithstanding clause in legislation that imposed a new contract on 55,000 education workers. The province later rescinded the law, which had effectively banned workers from striking.

It found that 48 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that it was a bad idea for Ottawa or the provinces to shield some of their laws from the Charter, while 19 per cent said it was a good idea. The remaining 33 per cent did not know.

While Quebec has a long history of debate over the notwithstanding clause, and recent events in Ontario have awoken some people to it as well, Bourque said that many Canadians remain unaware of its existence.

“It basically says this is not really a hot button, politically,” he said. “Even with the recent events in Ontario, they don’t really seem to care. Or not that they don’t care, but it’s something that’s a bit beyond what their primary concerns are in national politics.”

Source: Canadians divided on Ottawa’s plan to admit more immigrants: poll

Nicolas: Les mythes et réalités de la loi 21

Good analysis and observations regarding this ACS/Leger study (see earlier New research shows Bill 21 having ‘devastating’ impact on religious minorities in Quebec [particularly Muslim women]):

Pendant qu’on débat pour la millionième fois sur le port du hidjab au Québec — cette semaine à cause de réactions à une publicité de HEC Montréal —, une nouvelle étude sur la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État vient d’être publiée.

Produite par l’Association des études canadiennes, en collaboration avec SurveyMonkey et la firme de sondage Léger, cette étude a été menée auprès de 1828 adultes québécois, dont 632 musulmans, 165 juifs et 54 sikhs. Léger a utilisé les données de Statistique Canada pour que l’échantillon sondé soit représentatif de la population étudiée.

L’étude confirme que la majorité de la population (63,7 %) appuie la « loi 21 ». Ce chiffre tombe à 60 % si on inclut l’option « je ne sais pas », et à 57 % si l’on spécifie « telle qu’elle s’applique aux enseignants ».

Mais l’étude innove en comparant les arguments souvent entendus pour défendre la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État avec les données amassées. L’effet de contraste est saisissant.

D’abord, on avance souvent que la « loi 21 » est « neutre » — c’est-à-dire qu’elle ne vise aucune religion en particulier — et que ses appuis ne sont pas liés à une animosité particulière envers une religion ou une autre. Or, l’étude calcule que 75 % des partisans convaincus du texte législatif ont une opinion négative de l’islam ; 66 % du sikhisme ; 49 % du judaïsme ; 36,5 % du christianisme.

Il se dégage donc ici, selon la chercheuse principale de l’étude, Miriam Taylor, une « hiérarchie de négativité » envers les religions particulièrement marquée.

Parallèlement, la proportion des opposants convaincus à la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État qui ont une opinion négative de ces quatre mêmes religions oscille entre 18 % et 20 %, sans conviction que certaines valent mieux que d’autres.

Ensuite, on dit souvent que les appuis à « loi 21 » sont motivés par une méfiance particulière envers la religion en général ; l’étude a par conséquent voulu mesurer si les personnes elles-mêmes peu religieuses étaient plus nombreuses à soutenir cette législation. Or, on n’a trouvé aucun lien majeur entre la religiosité des répondants et leur appui ou opposition à la loi. Même qu’au contraire, les Québécois qui s’identifient comme catholiques seraient « légèrement plus favorables » à la loi que ceux qui se disent athées.

Fossé hommes-femmes

Par ailleurs, on entend souvent que la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État québécois est profondément féministe, et que c’est au nom de l’égalité hommes-femmes qu’elle a été mise en avant. L’enquête s’est donc intéressée à l’écart dans les appuis à la loi selon le genre.

On a calculé que 68,5 % des hommes et 59 % des femmes au Québec appuieraient la loi, un écart de près de 10 points de pourcentage. Chez les plus jeunes, l’écart est encore plus marqué : 51,7 % des hommes de 18 à 24 ans appuient la loi, alors que seulement 31,5 % de leurs consoeurs font de même. Seules les femmes de 75 ans et plus sont plus favorables à la loi que les hommes de leur groupe d’âge.

L’étude avance également que les femmes québécoises sont plus nombreuses à trouver que « la loi est discriminatoire envers les femmes », que les femmes sont « plus touchées » par cette mesure législative, et que la loi « divise les Québécois ». Les femmes seraient aussi moins nombreuses à trouver que les Québécois qui s’opposent à la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État sont « déloyaux » et à souhaiter qu’une personne qui ne s’y conforme pas perde son emploi.

Existe-t-il une seule autre politique publique dite « féministe » moins appuyée par les femmes que par les hommes ? Ou serait-ce que, dans ce cas-ci, les femmes savent moins bien discerner que les hommes ce qui est bon pour elles ?

Vivre-ensemble

De plus, on répète souvent que la « loi 21 » exprime une volonté collective, et donc que les tribunaux ne devraient pas se « mêler » des décisions de l’Assemblée nationale sur la question.

Pourtant, 64,5 % des Québécois sondés croient qu’il serait important « que la Cour suprême émette un avis sur la question de savoir si la loi 21 est discriminatoire », et seuls 46,7 % des répondants continueraient à l’appuyer si les tribunaux « confirment » qu’elle « viole les chartes des droits et libertés ». On parlerait donc ici d’une chute de 18 points de pourcentage dans les appuis en cas d’une décision négative des tribunaux sur la question.

Finalement, la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État est souvent présentée comme un outil favorisant l’harmonie sociale et le vivre-ensemble.

Or, en sondant spécifiquement les Québécois musulmans, juifs et sikhs, l’étude a trouvé qu’une majorité dans les trois groupes rapporte « un déclin dans leur sentiment d’acceptation en tant que membres à part entière de la société québécoise » depuis l’adoption du texte législatif. Quelque 64 % des femmes musulmanes, 67 % des hommes sikhs et 87,5 % des femmes sikhs qui ont participé à l’étude ont dit avoir senti leur capacité à participer à la vie sociale et politique du Québec se détériorer depuis 2019. Et 67 % des femmes musulmanes, 50 % des hommes juifs et 67 % hommes sikhs ont aussi déclaré avoir été exposés à des incidents et à des crimes haineux.

Cette portion de l’étude inclut d’ailleurs des témoignages qui donnent froid dans le dos. Bien qu’il s’agisse de la plus vaste enquête sur cette question conduite auprès des minorités religieuses québécoises depuis l’adoption de la loi, l’échantillon total reste modeste.

Espérons que d’autres recherches encore plus ambitieuses seront mises en avant pour faire la lumière sur ces enjeux cruciaux.

Source: Les mythes et réalités de la loi 21

More Canadians report strong attachment to their language than to Canada: poll

Not surprising that language attachment stronger in Quebec and among Indigenous peoples. The margin of 3 percent among all Canadians not significant given online poll:

A new survey finds more Canadians report a strong attachment to their primary language than to other markers of identity, including the country they call home.

The survey, which was conducted by Leger for the Association for Canadian Studies, found 88 per cent of respondents reported a strong sense of attachment to their primary language, whereas 85 per cent reported the same for Canada.

The greater importance of language was especially notable among francophones and Indigenous Peoples.

Reports of strong attachment to primary language exceeded all other markers of identity, including geography, ethnic group, racialized identity and religious affiliation.

Of the markers of identity considered in the survey, Canadians were the least likely to report a strong sense of attachment to a religious group.

Association for Canadian Studies president Jack Jedwab said the survey’s findings highlight the important role language plays in people’s identities.

“I think many Canadians may be surprised by it, who may not think intuitively that language is as important as other expressions of identity that get attention,” he said.

Jedwab said people should be mindful of not downplaying the importance of language given how significant language can be to a community. He said language has a dual function of facilitating communication and being an expression of culture.

“There can be a tendency for people to diminish the importance of other languages,” he said.

“We’ve not paid historically sufficient attention to Indigenous languages, which we’re now seeing our federal government invest considerably in, trying to help sustain and revive Indigenous languages,” he added.

The online survey was completed by 1,764 Canadians between July 8 and 10. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered truly random samples.

For Canadians whose primary language is French, 91 per cent reported a strong sense of attachment to their language, in comparison to 67 per cent who reported the same sentiment for Canada.

In Quebec, more people reported a strong sense of attachment to their primary language than to the province.

Only 37 per cent of Canadians reported a strong sense of attachment to a religious group.

The findings come ahead of Statistics Canada’s latest census release on languages in the country, which is set to be published on Wednesday.

Jedwab said the census release will be especially important to Quebec, where there’s a close monitoring of the state of the French language in comparison to other languages.

The Leger survey also found more than half of francophone Quebecers say they know English well enough to hold a conversation. That’s in contrast to less than one in 10 English respondents in all provinces except Quebec and New Brunswick who say they can hold a conversation in French.

According to the last census, English-French bilingualism rose from 17.5 per cent in 2011 to 17.9 per cent in 2016, reaching the highest rate of bilingualism in Canadian history. Over 60 per cent of that growth in bilingualism was attributable to Quebec.

Source: More Canadians report strong attachment to their language than to Canada: poll

New research shows Bill 21 having ‘devastating’ impact on religious minorities in Quebec [particularly Muslim women]

Would be interesting to see the breakdown between Montreal and the rest of Quebec, where immigration is low as is the number of visible and religious minorities:

New research shows that three years after Quebec’s secularism law — commonly known as Bill 21 — was adopted, religious minorities in the province are feeling increasingly alienated and hopeless.  

“Religious minority communities are encountering — at levels that are disturbing — a reflection of disdain, hate, mistrust and aggression,” Miriam Taylor, lead researcher and the director of publications and partnerships at the Association for Canadian Studies, told CBC in an interview.

“We even saw threats and physical violence,” Taylor said.

Bill 21, which passed in 2019, bars public school teachers, police officers, judges and government lawyers, among other civil servants in positions of authority, from wearing religious symbols — such as hijabs, crucifixes or turbans — while at work.

Taylor and her colleagues at the association worked with polling firm Leger to gather a unique portrait of attitudes toward Bill 21 in Quebec.

The association surveyed members of certain religious minority communities including 632 Muslims, 165 Jews and 56 Sikhs.

Those results were folded into a Leger survey of the Quebec population as whole, and then weighted to ensure the sample was representative of the entire population.

That allowed Taylor to compare and contrast the attitudes toward Bill 21 of Quebecers who are religious minorities with the attitudes of Quebecers as a whole.

In total 1,828 people were questioned in the online survey.

Taylor shared an advance copy of her final report, which is being released today, with CBC.

Muslim women most affected

Although all three religious minority groups surveyed said they’ve experienced negative impacts due to Bill 21, the effects are being most acutely felt by Muslims and, in particular, Muslim women.

“We saw severe social stigmatisation of Muslim women, marginalization of Muslim women and very disturbing declines in their sense of well-being, their ability to fulfil their aspirations, sense of safety, but also hope for the future,”  Taylor said.

Of the Muslim women surveyed, 78 per cent said their feeling of being accepted as a full-fledged member of Quebec society had worsened over the last three years.

Fifty-three per cent said they’d heard prejudicial remarks about Muslims from family, friends or colleagues.

People surveyed were given the opportunity to share examples of comments they’d heard or behaviours they’d experienced.

One reported hearing: ”These Muslim women with rags on their heads, if they are not able to integrate, let them return to their country.”

Forty-seven per cent of Muslim women said they’d been treated unfairly by a person in a position of authority. 

One person reported being called a “dirty immigrant” by a police officer in Quebec City.  Another reported that a teacher told disparaging anecdotes about Islam in class.

Two thirds of Muslim women said they’d been a victim of and/or a witness to a hate crime. Seventy-three per cent said their feeling of being safe in public had worsened.

Taylor found that nearly three quarters of Muslim women surveyed felt their comfort about safety in public had worsened in the three years since Bill 21 was adopted. (Association for Canadian Studies)

People surveyed offered examples ranging from racist remarks to death threats, having hijabs ripped off and being spat on. One person reported that a man deliberately tried to run over them and their three-year-old daughter with a pickup truck.

A majority of Muslims also reported feeling less hopeful, less free to express themselves in public and less likely to participate in social and political life.

“For a law that’s supposed to be very moderate and only touch a very small number of people, we were shocked at the responses,” Taylor said.

She said the response she found most upsetting was that 83 per cent of Muslim women surveyed said their confidence in their children’s future had worsened since Bill 21 passed.

Taylor said the figure that most upset her was the lack of hope Quebec Muslims have for their children’s future. (Association for Canadian Studies)

“It’s one thing to say: ‘you know what, I’m experiencing a lot of unfair treatment because I’m not understood,'” Taylor said. “It’s another thing to project forward and have no hope for your children.”

Law reinforces existing prejudices

Taylor believes Bill 21 alone isn’t responsible for the feelings of alienation and insecurity Quebec Muslims and other religious minorities feel.

She said prejudicial attitudes have been gestating in Quebec for nearly 20 years, when the debate over so-called “reasonable accommodations” for religious minorities first took hold.

“Malaise, fear and anxieties get provoked over time,” Taylor said.

She said often those anxieties are based on ignorance.

“By their own admission, Quebecers in general have very little contact with members of religious minorities,” Taylor said. “All of these negative opinions are based on lack of knowledge.”

Taylor said Bill 21 has enabled those prejudices — rooted in ignorance — to become the norm.

“We end up with a situation where the malaise of the observer trumps the deep convictions of the person actually wearing the religious symbols,” Taylor said.

“We’re validating and reinforcing those opinions, and then we’re politicizing the symbols. Those symbols are lightning rods,” she said.

“And so we end up dehumanizing the people wearing the symbols,” Taylor said.

Women generally less supportive of Bill 21

Taylor said that Bill 21 has consistently maintained the support of about two thirds of Quebecers since it was adopted, with a dip last January after the high-profile case of a hijab-wearing teacher in Chelsea who was removed from the classroom and reassigned.

But she said that support is nuanced and full of contradictions.

Women in Quebec, for example, are generally less supportive of Bill 21 than men. Sixty-eight per cent of men support the law compared to 58 per cent of women.

Taylor said the research showed that women, and in particular young women, are less supportive of Bill 21 than men. (Association for Canadian Studies)

And the younger women are, the less likely they are to support the law.  Just 31 per cent of women aged 18-24 support Bill 21.

Taylor said that raised questions for her.

“It’s touted as a feminist law by the people who support it. So why is it that particularly the younger women of Quebec are so much less in favour of it when one would expect the reverse proportion?” she said.

Support for the law but not for enforcement

Another statistic that surprised Taylor: even Quebecers who support the law don’t necessarily want to see it enforced.

Only 40 per cent of people surveyed believe a public servant who does not comply with the law should lose their job. 

“The law is supported and liked by Quebecers. But they seem much less keen to see it actually applied,” Taylor said.

“I think that we’re a human society and we care about people. We all need income to survive and I think people are aware of what a heavy price that would be to pay,” she said.

Quebecers care about what courts say about Bill 21

Taylor was also surprised that the survey showed that Quebecers care deeply about what courts have to say about Bill 21.

When drafting the law, the Quebec government, recognizing that it would likely violate both the Canadian and the Quebec charters of rights, pre-emptively invoked the constitutional notwithstanding clause, and altered the Quebec charter to try to shut down court challenges.

But those challenges came anyway, and now both the government and groups that oppose the bill are challenging a 2021 Quebec Superior Court ruling that upheld most of the law before the Quebec Court of Appeal.

It’s widely expected the law will eventually be challenged in the Supreme Court of Canada.

The bill’s architect, Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette, has argued that it’s up to elected politicians in the National Assembly — and not the courts — to decide how they want to organize relations between the state and religion.

But Quebecers seem to feel differently.

Sixty-four per cent, roughly the same percentage that support the bill, also feel it’s important for the Supreme Court to issue an opinion on whether Bill 21 is discriminatory.

And if the courts were to confirm the law is discriminatory, support for the bill would plummet.

Only 46 per cent of people surveyed — less than half — said they would continue to support the law if the courts confirmed it violates the Charter of Rights.

Debate not over

Jolin-Barrette has portrayed Quebecers as united in support of the bill, and has accused detractors of trying to divide Quebecers.

But Taylor’s survey shows that a majority of Quebecers — 56 per cent — believe the law itself is divisive.

When Bill 21 was adopted, Jolin-Barrette said it would “permit a harmonious transition toward secularism” for Quebec.

Taylor said that clearly hasn’t been the case.

“The debate is very far from closed,” she said. “Bill 21 is having devastating impacts on citizens in our province. It’s tearing apart our social fabric and I think it’s undermining our democracy.”

“If national unity is achieved at the expense of labelling minorities as in some way harmful or a threat, these are signs of the degeneration of democracy,” she said. 

Taylor said as a Quebecer, she finds this distressing.

“We live in a very distinct province. We’re different. It’s an experiment that on some level should never have succeeded: a thriving French society on an English continent,” she said.

“In all my years, I associate that distinct nature with a humanity, with understanding how important identity is,” Taylor said.

She said Bill 21 threatens that.

“I feel like we’re doing major harm to those values that we hold dear and that make us special,” Taylor said.

Source: New research shows Bill 21 having ‘devastating’ impact on religious minorities in Quebec

‘A work in progress’: after 50 years Canada’s multiculturalism policy a ‘model,’ but must shift to ‘dismantling’ discrimination, say panellists

Good overview of the plenary with three good speakers but Nenshi, as often happens, stole the show with his blending of the personal and political:

Fifty years after Canada made multiculturalism an official policy, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi contrasted his life under the system to another political figure who, like him, was born within months of its enactment in 1971: the prime minister. 

Both men turn 50 within a matter of weeks of each other, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) this coming Christmas Day and Mr. Nenshi a few weeks later, in February. During an Oct. 6 panel dubbed “Multiculturalism@50,” Mr. Nenshi said the last five decades and the two leaders’ paths to politics reveals some of the impact of the world-leading policy put in place by Mr. Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, when he led the country.

“He grew up in a life of great privilege. But in a life where, as a formally bilingual white person in this country, he had a very different view of what multiculturalism meant than others may have,” Mr. Nenshi said in his set-up, contrasting that with his early years and how he—that “baby boy”—grew up in Canada.

“He grew up as a person of colour, who could not avoid conversations about racism, or multiculturalism, because they were actually part of his life, every single day.”

During the 2019 election, Mr. Trudeau pointed to his privilege to explain how he as a teenager, and a man in his 30s, chose to don the racist garb of blackface and brownface.

Following the revelations, Mr. Trudeau said he had “a massive blind spot” borne from his upbringing in “a place of privilege.” His critics, including NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh (Burnaby South, B.C.), have noted a disconnect between his words and actions.

Last week, and again on Wednesday, Mr. Trudeau apologized for choosing to vacation in Tofino, B.C., on Sept. 30, the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The Vancouver Island town is a few hours’ flight west of Kamloops, B.C., where, in May, the local First Nation announced it had found 215 unmarked graves at a former residential school.

Mr. Nenshi did not mention the last campaign’s scandal or the prime minister’s record, but noted in thinking about “the different paths that we’ve taken, and where we’ve ended up, both he and I in public life, through very different ways, we start to understand, I think, what the impact of that policy has been,” Mr. Nenshi observed.

Canada’s multicultural policy, adopted in October 1971 in a world first, is “one of our country’s greatest achievements,” said Independent Senator Donna Dasko (Ontario).

Sen. Dakso, also a panellist for the Metropolis Canada event, credited the elder Trudeau for his “vision,” and though the approach had its detractors, she said it did not “impede its progress.” She said Canada “marched forward” with the approach, adopting the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, which “recognized the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural character of Canada,” and, in 1988, the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney passed the Multicultural Act, further “entrenching the principles and practices of multiculturalism.”

These efforts “marked Canada as the first country in the world to adopt these measures. And really, we did become a model of intercultural relations in the world,” said Sen. Dasko, a former pollster who said she has followed public opinion shift over the years so it’s now accepted as a “core feature of our national identity.”

Now, after 50 years, it’s time to focus on “dismantling,” and actions to address anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, said former Liberal cabinet minister Jean Augustine, who became Canada’s first female Black MP when she was elected in 1997.

Despite equal pay legislation and commitments to equality, she questioned why Black Canadians are overrepresented below the poverty line and in Canada’s prisons.

“We need to ask questions. We need to get more complete answers. That is the only way that we can continue to write the story and also tell the story of a more accurate, inclusive, and genuine multicultural Canada,” said Ms. Augustine, who served as minister of state for multiculturalism between 2002 and 2004. 

Still, Ms. Augustine said she remains “steadfast” in her support of the policy, invoking Winston Churchill’s remarks on democracy; that it is the worst form of government, except all those others that have been tried.

“We can say the same about multiculturalism. It is the best form and the best set of policies to enable us to be the Canada of the future. This is a work in progress,” she said. 

Canada must “meaningfully address barriers” diverse cultural groups face and “meet the challenges head on,” she said.

“The full dream of what Canada can be will only happen when we embrace true inclusion and equity. And this demands that we situate our approach to multiculturalism within a space that is anti-racist, and anti-oppression.”

While Canada is “immeasurably better” than it was when Mr. Nenshi’s parents first came to Canada, the mayor noted the country is still in a time when politicians deny systemic racism persists. 

This week, Quebec Premier François Legault doubled down on past statements saying it doesn’t exist in his province, following the release of a coroner’s report into the death of Joyce Echaquan, an Atikamekw woman who filmed herself being insulted by hospital staff before she passed. Mr. Legault “incorrectly” defined the term to “bolster his argument,” said Mr. Nenshi, noting the province’s so-called secularism laws are “blatantly discriminatory.” One law prohibits some civil servants from displaying religious symbols, such as wearing a hijab or turban.

That means lawyer-turned-NDP leader Mr. Singh, if he had practised law in Quebec, would be denied a path to ever be a judge. The topic came up in the English-language federal leaders’ debates, when moderator Shachi Kurl also described the law as discriminatory and asked Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, in light of the law, how he could say the province doesn’t have a “problem with racism.”

Remarking on the flood of criticism Ms. Kurl, a woman of colour, faced in the Sept. 9 debate’s aftermath, Mr. Nenshi said people of colour are often challenged for daring to “play the race card,”

“Let me tell you something, the race card is very rarely part of a winning hand,” said Mr. Nenshi, who, 11 years ago became the first person of colour to head Calgary and a major city in Canada, and the first Muslim mayor of a major North American city. In the city’s 136-year history, he’s one of seven non-white members elected to council, according to Mr. Nenshi.

But it was his religion that propelled him to the pages of the likes of Time magazine—even though it had barely registered in his municipal campaign. He could have said “no” to all those dozens of media interviews, he noted, but multiculturalism, in part, pushed him to have those public conversations.

“I thought that this was an opportunity to tell a story of a place where it does work [and] use my own ordinary, typical immigrant story as a beacon of hope for Canada and for the world,” he said, and while that story still feels real and true, “things feel different now.”

Mr. Nenshi said there’s been a shift in the last four or five years, though nominal compared to the flood of hate women of colour experience when they enter public life. 

“It seems that voices of division, anger, and hatred are growing louder and louder in our communities. And they sometimes seem to be winning.”

Echoing Ms. Augustine’s assessment, Mr. Nenshi agreed the next stage means a move from pluralism and multiculturalism to “true anti racism, to true reconciliation.”

Mr. Nenshi said he doesn’t know what that looks like, but he’s optimistic Canada can get there.

“But it starts by recognizing where we are. It starts by recognizing how far we’ve come, but it also starts by recognizing how far we have to go.”

Source: https://hilltimes.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=a90bfb63c26a30f02131a677b&id=dace268bc7&e=685e94e554

Does COVID-19 mean the age of global migration is over?

Good overview of one of the more significant papers on immigration post-COVID by Alain Gamien that policy makers need to consider and reflect upon:

Is the age of migration coming to an end?

For decades, easy air travel, globalization and international competition for talent in some sectors have made the growing movement of people around the world seem unstoppable.

Until now.

With the pandemic leading to less demand for skilled labour, a smaller aging population to support, and a proliferation of travel restrictions, the future of human migration looks pretty grim post-COVID-19.

“We have had the migration boom, now we are heading into the bust,” said Alan Gamlen, a human geographer at Monash University in Australia and author of a new paper about the outlook of migration, Migration and mobility after the 2020 pandemic: The end of an age?

If Canada’s immigration numbers between April and June — the first full quarter under the influence of the pandemic — are any indication of what is to come, things don’t bode well.

According to a new study to be released later this week by the Association for Canadian Studies, the number of permanent residents admitted to Canada dropped by 64 per cent to 34,260 in the second quarter of 2020, compared to 94,275 during the same period last year.

Those who came under the skilled economic class fell a whopping 52 per cent to 24,805 from 51,665; the family class is down 78 per cent to 5,990 from 27,080; and resettled refugees and protected persons declined by 83 per cent to just 2,685 from 14,570.

While much of that is due to border closures, experts say it’s not immediately clear if the downward trend will be totally reversed once travel restrictions are eased.

In his paper, released in August as part of the International Organization for Migration’s “think series,” Gamlen posed ten key questions that guide future migration and mobility trends.

The No. 1 question on the list is whether countries will need less labour migration.

Unemployment has skyrocketed during the pandemic. With corporate borrowing at a historic high, Gamlen said many companies now lack the revenue to service debt and are either folding or cutting staff.

The net result will be a reduction in demand for migrant labour, with a large pool of unemployed domestic workers and mounting political pressure to hire them over migrant workers.

“It is hard to find grounds for much optimism regarding the short- to medium-term outlook,” Gamlen told the Star.

“We will continue to see dependence on migrant labour in certain sectors of the economy, particularly at the high and low ends of the skills spectrum. This is because some sectors involve work that native workers can’t or won’t do, and because innovation will remain a key driver of prosperity.”

Further complicating the forecast is the uneven death toll COVID-19 has taken on the elderly population, a group that’s particularly vulnerable to the virus as seen in the death rates around the world.

“If high mortality rates persist until a vaccine can be mass produced, the overall death toll could amount to a significant portion of the elderly cohort,” said Gamlen, a long-standing research associate at Oxford University’s Centre on Migration, Policy and Society.

“If the pandemic devastates a specific generation, it will affect long-term dependency ratios and dynamics of demographic transition. It could reduce the proportion of dependent elderly people in the population and the financial cost of aged care, while generating a boom of babies conceived in lockdown.”

Places where people can move freely to another country by choice will likely see a decline in those rates as they put their migration plan on hold, but the traditional labour-sending countries in the developing world will see a “buildup” of people longing to leave their homelands, said Gamlen.

“The interaction of these changing flows from different places will, I think, lead to a period of unstable, non-linear changes in migration patterns,” he argued.

“The overall volume will decrease, but flows might be less predictable — like when you turn the kitchen tap halfway off, and the water starts spraying out sideways instead of flowing nicely down into the sink.”

Gamlen said it’s inevitable that the numbers of people crossing borders, especially on a permanent and long-term basis, will fall further before they bounce back — if they ever do.

“A huge amount depends on how governments manage all this. They will have a lot of control over when and how borders start to reopen and their choices in this regard will affect both the recovery timeline from the pandemic and from the economic crisis,” he said.

“Opening too early could reignite the spread of the virus. Opening too late could stifle growth and lead to a new era of closed-shop nationalism — which has ended very badly in the past.”

In its immigration study, the Association for Canadian Studies polled 1,531 Canadians between July 31 and August 2 about their attitude to immigration. Forty-six per cent of respondents still believed immigration would have a very positive or somewhat positive impact on Canada while 26 per cent of people held the opposite view.

Given the pandemic, 36 per cent of the respondents said Ottawa should prioritize the admission of those with family members in Canada, followed by refugees (16%), temporary foreign workers (12%), skilled immigrants (8%) and international students (7%).

Jack Jedwab, the academic association’s president, said whether the pandemic will mark the end of migration depends on how long the contagion lasts.

“Canadians seem comfortable with the reduced numbers and are still positive about the impact of immigration and committed to immigration as a strategy for medium to long term economic growth,” Jedwab said.

“But it is not clear when the medium term will occur. The contagion does not provide us with a time frame. There will be a need to reassess the needs regarding immigration given the economic uncertainty and what the changing circumstances call for.”

Source: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/08/17/does-covid-19-mean-the-age-of-global-migration-is-over.html

Census data says you’ll make a lot more than your immigrant parents, but your kids won’t make as much as you | Toronto Star

The chart above breaks out the visible minority population by generation. While Black Canadians and Japanese Canadians have the highest percentage of third generation, the actual numbers are small for 25-54 years olds: about 24,000 and 12,000 respectively. The numbers of the other groups are all under 5,000 (many under 1,000), save for Chinese Canadians at just under 9,000.

Given the relatively small size, it may be premature to make this conclusion regarding the overall prospects for the third generation:

Children of immigrants make a lot more money than their parents but their kids won’t make as much as them, the latest census shows.

While visible-minority immigrants tend to earn less than their white immigrant counterparts, their kids more than make up the income gap between the two groups and also outperform their white peers in the second generation, according to a report by the Association of Canadian Studies based on 2016 census data.

Part of the study, to be presented at a national conference in March on immigration and settlement policies, examines the ethnic differences in after-tax incomes across first, second and third generations of immigrants by ethnicity in the prime working age between 35 and 44.

For immigrants — white or non-white — that upward socioeconomic mobility based on earnings fizzled by the third generation when all groups, except for the Korean and Japanese, made significantly less money than their second-generation parents.

According to Jack Jedwab, the report’s author, visible-minority immigrants made an average of $38,065 a year, compared to $47,978 earned by white immigrants.

Overall, children of visible-minority immigrants made a 47 per cent leap in their average earnings above their parents, making $55,994 annually, surpassing their white second-generation peers, who made $54,174 annually or 13 per cent more than their own parents. (The white group also includes those who self-identified as Aboriginal, who makes up 6.1 per cent of the group.)

While all children of immigrants of colour did better than their parents, some communities fared better than others.

Second-generation South Asians made the most progress, earning an average of $62,671, up from $38,978 from their immigrant parents. Their Chinese peers, who had the highest average annual income of all groups at $65,398, made 50 per cent more than first-generation Chinese immigrants who made $43,085.

 

“The entire second generation enjoyed a higher mobility though some communities were faring better than others,” noted Jedwab, who teaches sociology and public affairs at Concordia University.

The higher socioeconomic attainment, he said, can be partially attributed to immigrant parents’ expectations on their children to make up for the sacrifice they made for the move and seize on the better opportunities Canada has to offer.

“Education is certainly a key explanation and I would suggest that the value that children of immigrants attach to higher education is greater than is the case for the grandchildren of immigrants,” said Jedwab.

via Census data says you’ll make a lot more than your immigrant parents, but your kids won’t make as much as you | Toronto Star

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Younger Canadians hold more negative views about religious groups – CRRF

Further to an earlier release of the CRRF and ACS Survey on Religion, Racism and Intergroup Relations in Canada Shows Differences in Attitudes Among Anglophones, Francophones and Other Groups, a further release pertaining to attitudes to religious diversity by age group. Remarkably consistent across religions, except for Muslims:

Table 1: Negative attitudes towards certain groups, according to age groups
 Negative Opinion

Total

18-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

 Muslims 44% 43% 45% 40% 43% 40%
 Jews 19% 24% 25% 20% 15% 15%
 Protestants 15% 24% 23% 14% 15% 8%
 Catholics 19% 25% 25% 22% 18% 13%
 Atheists/Agnostics 21% 14% 18% 21% 21% 22%
 Religious 31% 36% 33% 31% 31% 27%
 Immigrants 24% 24% 27% 24% 30% 16%
 Aboriginals 26% 26% 26% 25% 29% 22%

Younger Canadians hold more negative views about religious groups

Whereas on diversity in general, young people are more supportive than older age groups, as another relatively recent study by ACS shows:

Do you have a very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative or very negative opinion of Canadian Multicultural Policy
Total 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65 + French English Other
TOTAL positive 58% 74% 61% 61% 56% 54% 47% 48% 60% 67%
Very positive 15% 34% 18% 15% 10% 12% 8% 8% 14% 26%
Somewhat positive 43% 40% 43% 46% 46% 42% 39% 40% 46% 41%
TOTAL negative 35% 14% 29% 33% 35% 39% 50% 45% 32% 28%
Somewhat negative 23% 7% 19% 24% 25% 25% 33% 29% 22% 18%
Very negative 12% 8% 10% 9% 11% 14% 17% 16% 10% 11%
I prefer not answering 7% 11% 10% 6% 9% 7% 3% 7% 8% 5%

Younger Canadians Believe Multiculturalism Works; Older Canadians, Not So Sure 

I expect a further breakdown by region (urban vs rural, QC vs ROC), cross-referenced to more broad-based attitude polling, may cast more light, or it may simply reflect that younger people, in general, may be less religious.

No surprise, and consistent with other surveys, distrust of Muslims is higher than other religions (they did not ask about Sikhs which generally “rate” between Muslims and other religions). There may be a link between the categories “religious” and Muslims, given perceptions of more religious fundamentalism or conservatism.

Like all polling, one question leads to another …

Survey on Religion, Racism and Intergroup Relations in Canada Shows Differences in Attitudes Among Anglophones, Francophones and Other Groups

January 2014 survey on religious diversity, racism and intergroup relations by ACS and Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Not much surprising, communities tend to focus on their issues (and socialize more from within) and Québec attitudes towards religious diversity more negative. Racism highlights below:

Almost two in three Canadians (62%) report they are “worried” about a rise in racism. Concerns about racism and discrimination against particular groups such as Muslims, Aboriginal Peoples, immigrants and Jews vary greatly from one group to another.  Members of a particular group appear more concerned about a rise in racism and discrimination directed against their own group. Jews show a relatively high level of concern about racism directed against other groups as well. Francophones also show a higher level of concern except as it relates to anti-Aboriginal sentiment.

Survey on Religion, Racism and Intergroup Relations in Canada Shows Differences in Attitudes Among Anglophones, Francophones and Other Groups – Press Release – Digital Journal.